.See http://www.topwalks.com/tgoc2012.html Day 14 for map
Distance: 25.5km (Cum 426)
Ascent: 300 metres (Cum 10,100)
Time taken: 6hrs including stops
Weather: another hot sunny day
Challengers encountered: none on the walk; none on the train; many in Montrose.
Others encountered: we had the pleasure of Janette's company for today's walk.
Flora and Fauna: coastal sea birds and flowers including thrift in fine fettle, swifts as we entered Aberdeen, a sparrowhawk on the path in front of us, lots of bluebells, red campion, daffodils, etc lining the path.
Janette joined us for a 7.30 start from Drumoak, along the pleasant Deeside Way trail all the way to its terminus at Duthie Park. This was almost all 'off road' and far preferable to our more customary road walk to the east coast.
We reached Duthie in time for elevenses at a café, before muscling our way across town for lunch at Baron's Cairn, at 83 metres the final summit of our trip.
It should have been an easy half hour's stroll down to Nigg Bay, but a landfill had encroached to the extent that we thought our planned route across the railway would be blocked (it wasn't - just seriously diverted). So we went the other way around the landfill and soon found ourselves on a lovely coastal path and heading inexorably towards Nigg Bay and the end of this most satisfying journey.
At the very end of the journey was the ruin of a church - the final subject of this series of postings' historical references. First established in 1242, the kirk was Catholic up to the Reformation then Episcopalian until 1716. It was abandoned in 1829, following the opening of the New Church of the parish of Nigg, though the graveyard continued to be used up to the twentieth century. Due to its remote location the kirk was a target for body snatchers in the early nineteenth century and was consequently equipped with a watch-house, the ruins of which can still be seen today, along with the main church building.
Bill and Alison turned up at Nigg Bay but failed to persuade Sue to skinny dip. Perhaps due to the fact that it was cooler here (14C) due to the remnants of some coastal fog, or perhaps due to the smelly effluent from a sewage works that drains into the bay. There was just one fat lady swimming.
After celebratory hugs and photos we were glad of a lift into Aberdeen to collect the 14.39 train to Montrose.
That's where we are now, hoping soon to be reunited with some of our Challenger friends, having seen no other Challengers since before Dinnet on Tuesday.
That's all for now. Montrose will no doubt be fun.
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